PRESIDENT DEFENDS MEETING WITH MNLF CHIEFTAIN

Pursue charges vs Misuari, Duterte urged

11

OPPOSITION lawmakers on Friday called on President Rodrigo Duterte to pursue rebellion and other criminal charges against Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari despite his participation in peace talks.

Advertisements
WITH ‘PAÑEROS President Rodrigo Duterte addresses a convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines at the Manila Hotel on Friday. Duterte defended his meeting with Moro rebel chief Nur Misuari and bared that criminals have shifted to kidnapping from drugs. Photo by Roger Rañada

WITH ‘PAÑEROS President Rodrigo Duterte addresses a convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines at the Manila Hotel on Friday. Duterte defended his meeting with Moro rebel chief Nur Misuari and bared that criminals have shifted to kidnapping from drugs. Photo by Roger Rañada

Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat and Sen. Leila de Lima said Misuari should be held accountable for the siege of Zamboanga City in 2013 that killed about 200 civilians.

“We must remind him (Duterte) that Misuari is almost a recalcitrant peace partner, talking peace when it suits him, and waging war when convenient, without due regard to civilian lives and the lives of our soldiers,” said de Lima, who was secretary of Justice when the government filed rebellion charges against Misuari and his MNLF men.

Baguilat said Misuari’s participation should be limited to making sure his MNLF bloc participates in the peace talks.

“He must still be held accountable for his crimes in Zamboanga and when he was head of ARMM (Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao). His participation in the peace talks cannot absolve him of his sins against the government and the people,” Baguilat told The Manila Times.

Warrants for Misuari’s arrest in connection with the rebellion charges were suspended by a Pasig court for six months, allowing the rebel leader to meet President Duterte in Malacañang on Thursday.

Misuari led a ragtag group of combatants during the Zamboanga City siege in September 2013 that left at least 200 people dead and 10,000 homes destroyed.

The MNLF chieftain and his comrades used civilians as human shields in protest of the peace agreement inked by the MNLF splinter group Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government during the previous administration.

President Duterte on Friday defended his meeting with Misuari.

“What is wrong with talking with Nur Misuari? I am a Moro. I want to talk to him because … we have been fighting for 40 years. Do you want to fight for another 40 years? If yes, you will get it,” he said in a speech during a convention of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines at Manila Hotel.

Duterte reiterated his push for a federal system of government to address the longstanding conflict in Mindanao.

“If the federal system will not work, there will be this thought of mindless violence,” the President said.

Graft cases

Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano admitted that Misuari was a respected leader among the Moros, particularly the Tausugs where some members of the Abu Sayyaf kidnap and terror group come from.

“He could contribute, but the success of the peace process does not depend on Nur alone,” Alejano, a former Marine captain, said.

Baguilat pointed out that Misuari finished his term as ARMM governor with the region still mired in chronic poverty.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales had ordered the filing of graft and malversation charges against Misuari in connection with the purchase of educational materials worth P137.5 million in 2000 to 2001 when he was the ARMM governor.

Misuari is also facing three counts of malversation of public funds through falsification and three counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act before the Sandiganbayan.

Other lawmakers were of a different view.

Senator Gregorio Honasan 2nd said Filipinos must be prepared to pay the political and social costs of peace.

Sen. Francis Escudero said in a separate statement it was up to the courts to decide on the cases against Misuari but seeing him talking peace was something that should be welcomed.

“For me, it’s always heartwarming to see former protagonists together and former warriors talking peace. At the end of the day, the primordial consideration for me is for Filipinos to already stop killing each other,” Escudero said.

Bangsamoro transition

On Friday, Malacañang said President Duterte would sign on Monday the executive order on the expanded Bangsamoro Transition Commission that would resume the work of revising the proposed law on the new Bangsamoro region.

The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) welcomed the “positive response” of Misuari to Duterte’s invitation to participate in the Bangsamoro peace process.

“The peace process in Mindanao is on track with both the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the MNLF on board for a more inclusive resolution to the conflict,” the OPAPP said.

The previous commission had 15 members – eight from the MILF and seven chosen by the government.

Based on agreements in an August meeting, the new body will have 21 members to accommodate 11 MILF men and 10 government nominees.

The commission, an independent body, is tasked to consolidate all peace agreements and legislation into one bill on the creation of a Bangsamoro region in Mindanao to replace the ARMM.

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

11 Comments

  1. The peace process for every peace-loving Filipino HAS JUST STARTED… let us support the present administration to achieve it !!!

    It is too early to go against the moves of Pres. Rodrigo R. Duterte at this time.

    What would happen to our Country if each time a Leader (who is determined to solve the ills of the Society) would be opposed by anybody who cannot even propose a solution ?

  2. is the guy that needs to be killed by EJK. what he has done was a massacre. and he gets invited to the palace? the AFP should order digong gong that Misuari have to be taken out by all means at all cost including the ASG. no negotiations with these animal terrorists. if they want to continue the war so be it. eventually they will be wiped out. remember we have 90 million christians and only 5 million moros. if they dont want peace we can really wipe them out in the long run. and if Duterte does not listen then the AFP can warn him or he may just resign.

  3. Misuari had been given the opportunity by the Philippine government during the time Corazon Aquino. The Corazon Aquino government decided to erase all the acts of rebellion or terrorism that Misuari did during Marcos time; Aquino government decided to forgive and forget all the unthinkable criminal acts that Misuari perpetrated to the people of Mindanao and to the Philippines. Our brothers Muslims were deceived by Misuari pro-Muslim agenda that ultimately led him to advance his own personal interest over Mindanao, so much so that when he got elected as governor of the ARMM, there he played extremely to use his power in making all the corruptions. What happened now to Misuari’s case of rebellion, which was the same case that had been raised to Honasan and Trillianes who are both on board is a reflection of a bigger picture of the entire nation that we have nowhere to go, no direction, and no better future can be expected, for reasons that laws are not made to work. Philippine is no composed of two or three families; there are millions of families and thousand of organizations both pro and anti-government, and several ethnic groups with their own agenda. If laws were no followed by our leaders to rule in whatever criminal or civil case the person committed, we would always miss the chance to bring peace in our land.

  4. I appreciate statesmanship of Senators Gringo Honasan and Francis Escudero to rise beyond the petty little things not like some opposition lawmakers like Alejano, Baguilat and De Lima who want to use their political affiliation to drive their personal motive as the basis for their reason to adversely treat the participation of Nur Misuari in the peace talk proposed by PRRD to solve the senseless killing in the South which already took 40 years. With the leadership shown by President Digong and which is acknowledged by the Muslim group of Nur as worthy to be trusted, if this peace settlement fails because some lawmakers want to prioritize their political color then the killings among our brother Filipinos will again go on for another 40 years. Honasan and Escudero are able to grasp the importance of this rare opportunity under President Digong and they said the Filipino people should be prepared to pay the price if what they want is to cut a deal with our Muslim brothers to forge a lasting peace in Mindanao. And that’s not too much to bear if what we want to see in exchange is the peaceful settlement to avoid the senseless killings among our brother Filipinos.

  5. DU30’s peace initiative to Muslim Mindanao by inviting Misuari is not meant towards a lasting peace to all people of Mindanao. if we were to ask the Muslim in Mindanao, we would know that they had condemned what Misuari did in Zamboanga. Misuari ceased his popularity, respect, and credibility when he was found guilty of so many corruptions the time he was elected governor of ARMM. If we were to ask the people of Mindanao, we would know that they would want the Philippine government to persecute Misuari. Is President DU30 doing the right thing in making Misuari free of his crime committed against the nation when he sieged Zamboanga City Hall? I don’t think DU30 is doing the right way on his plan to make a lasting peace in Mindanao by making the criminal free; DU30 should persecute Misuari. Mindanao people are thinker people: they know what is right and what is wrong. Peace is obtained when justice is served, and on the part of the offender- he would be at peace when he concedes what is served in the name of justice.

    • Some of your comments i agree but some i doubt is misleading. First DU30 requested the courts to a six months reprieve for Misuari not his eternal freedom to talk Peace. Since Misuari is a former leader and up to now has the followings of the Moro Tausugs (MILF are mostly Maranaos and etc.) even less in numbers he has a political clout in them. remember Abu Sayaf that has a lesser members runs amock that cannot be contained by our AFP. DU30 only request and it’s up to the courts to accept or reject his request, he has no absolute authority on other branches of government and he knows that legally.

  6. Don`t listen to this two cockroach Delima and Banguilat, purge peace with Misuari. I have tasted war in my province (Phil. Army vs NPA) the miserable life was really hard to go around to do a living let alone to survived.

    Instead jail this Drug Queen Delima for ggod and throw the key. isama nyo rin po si daguilat taga paypay ni Delima.
    lossers….

  7. Eh yung putschist, hostage taker sa Oakwood, nakawala at binoto niyo pang senador. Wala na bang wakas ang hidwaan? Paano matatapos? Aver?